Hyundai Elite i20: Truly Elite
Hyundai has been the trendsetter for the Indian auto space, especially in terms of design. Over the years Hyundai has been the one to beat. BACKGROUND: Two years back, in 2014, I was on the hunt for my first car. My Usage would be, -Daily commute to college (20 Kilometers approx.) -Monthly weekend trips (400 Kilometers approx.) Budget- Around 8 Lakh. I shortlisted the Volkswagen Polo and the Fiat Punto Evo. During the test drive, I noticed that both the cars had their fair share of pros and cons. With the Polo, cabin space was something that bothered me and I felt the clutch to be a bit heavy. With the Punto, I have to admit it was a great car to drive, I didn't have much to complain about but the looks weren't to my taste and Fiat's bad reputation with 'After Sales Service' left me with a bitter note. Late 2014, I got to know about the newly launched Hyundai Elite i20. The looks of the car simply flattered me. Within the next few days, test drove the car, loved it, decided to go for the 'polar white' color, booked the Era 1.4 CRDi variant. (CRDi is the diesel engine) DELIVERY EXPERIENCE: I was informed prior about the delivery date and Hyundai was spot on, as the car was delivered on the same date as promised. The delivery was simple, nothing special to write down. ACCESSORIES AND EQUIPMENT: I got quite a few needed accessories within days of purchasing the car. The list is as follows, -Artificial Leather Seat Covers -Higher Power Xenon Headlights -Pioneer Music System with 4 speakers (single Din) -Vinyl Floor Mats -Sun films for all the Doors and Rear Windshield Let's jump into the review now! DESIGN: Easily the best looking Hatchback. Hyundai has always designed great looking cars and the elite i20 is no exception. The front looks sharp and classy. The headlights have an exquisite design and the honeycomb grill above the front bumper is the icing on the cake. The tail lights look simply stunning, especially when turned on during night. The roof antenna seems to be too long but that's just nitpicking. Overall, the looks of the Elite i20 is just a class above its rivals. INTERIOR: The dual tone interior color(Black and Beige) is stylish and adds a sense of roominess. The cabin itself is made of top-quality materials. One really can't complain about what Hyundai is offering, especially at this price point. The front seats are comfortable and provide a good view of what is ahead. The rear seats are spacious and could easily fit in three fully grown adults. Headroom is also sufficient. I've never had any of my friends or family members complain about the space in the rear seats. STORAGE AND BOOT: Storage has never been a problem, adequate space is available. The car has seat pockets behind the front seats, two cup holders near the hand brake and bottle holders on the doors are large enough. The Elite i20 has a boot space of 285 liters, it is adequate for my usage but note that some rivals offer better boot space. RIDE AND HANDLING: The heart of the Elite i20 is the CRDi Diesel engine that produces 90 PS power. The engine noise is very low, it is an extremely well-refined engine. The car feels effortless to drive in the city, thanks to the good low-end and mid-range power of the engine. The clutch feels very light, which is a boon in city traffic. Out on the highways, the engine has enough power but the stability isn't that great. The light build of the car is evident when you hit speeds above 120. Still is quite a satisfactory car to take out on occasional highway trips. The steering is responsive but the feedback is lacking, just like in all Hyundai cars. Braking is spot-on, but one might feel the need for a bit more bite, nevertheless gets the job done. MILEAGE: I get a mileage of 17 Kilometers per liter approx. The mileage of the car depends a lot on driving style and maintenance. Maybe if you are a person who doesn't rev the engine a lot, you might get better figures. The mileage isn't great nor is it poor, it is just average. The fuel tank capacity is 45 Liters, good enough I'd say. AFTER SALES SERVICE: My experience with Hyundai's After sales service has been sweet. The car was always in a good condition, thanks to the folks at Hyundai. I also have the knack of getting my car serviced on-time, that may have helped with the maintenance. One issue I had was that the AC didn't work on two highway trips, was working fine inside the city but completely stopped working out on the highways. I took the car to the service station the very next day, Hyundai was quick to acknowledge this and sorted out the problem. 50,000+ Kilometers on the odometer and still running strong. I also switched out the stock tires as they were completely worn out after pushing through Indian roads for 40,000 Kilometers, switched to new set of Continental tires when the odometer showed 40,000 Kilometers. VERDICT: If I could sort out one car that checks all the boxes for loads of features, good ride quality, satisfactory after-sales service, good looks, and isn't too heavy on the pocket then the Elite i20 is it. Being a proud owner of the Elite i20 for more than 2 years and still counting, I find it very easy to recommend this car. Aye Aye, it is 'Truly Elite'.
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